Letters to the editor 

No excuse for drunk driving

Page 3 of 6

Justice must be done and be seen to be done. In this case, council achieved neither.

Gary Carsen

Whistler

 

Revisit asphalt options

I'm writing in regards to recent developments in the Cheakamus Crossing development, namely the release of internal RMOW documents relating to a 1998 rezoning attempt by the then asphalt plant's landlords, the Sabre Group.

From the documents, it's clear that both the site tenure holder, the Sabre Group, their tenant Alpine Paving, and the RMOW were all aware that the asphalt plant was not a permitted use under the site's zoning. An attempt was made to bring the plant into compliance, but this was abandoned by the tenure holders. Since then, the asphalt plant has been clearly and purposely operating on the site without the proper zoning, despite the operators having the opportunity to rezone the property in 1998. I fail to see any form of tacit approval from the RMOW for Alpine Paving to operate the asphalt plant on that site, and in fact an attempt was made to rezone the property 1998 to bring it into compliance, which Alpine Paving failed to do.

I also fail to see where simply failing to prosecute a non-conforming use becomes an approval of that use. Communities such as Surrey and Burnaby in the Vancouver area have been dealing with this issue for years. Informal industry had been operating in formerly isolated areas that later became gentrified, and those businesses and industrial shops had to eventually yield to their zoning.

I would ask that:

In light of the new documents, council re-open debate on RMOW options in regard to dealing with the Cheakamus Crossing asphalt plant.

Council waive its privilege on the legal opinion that municipal solicitors prepared in relation to this matter and release it to the public. Parts dealing with the financial details of the private parties involved should, of course, be redacted. This opinion affects the future of all the Cheakamus Crossing residents, and considering the large public investment in the project, the entire community, and should not be held in secret.

That council release the consultant's report on the status of the asphalt plant.

I would also like to comment on the failure of the planning department to realize that there was a heavy industrial plant operating in close proximity to a proposed major residential development when they evaluated the different sites for the development. Not only are there approximately 200 families moving into that area, there is a roughly $10,000,000 municipal investment in the project. That the municipal planning department doesn't know the location of every heavy industrial site in the Whistler area, despite the fact that this one was the subject of a re-zoning attempt six years prior to the report, is beyond me.

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